Loot from Japan trip

In some earlier posts about my trip to Japan, you saw the following two pictures:

Loot 1

Loot 2

Before I go any further, yes, I did spend way too much money on toys when I was overseas. Fortunately, my plane ticket back was already paid for, so I couldn’t have wound up like Piro and Largo. Now, after some wait time, here’s the unveiling of the loot from Japan!

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More Photosynth action

After some success at creating a Photosynth of upstairs area, I decided to try my hand and doing figures again. With the newly installed flooring downstairs, I think I’d created the perfect backdrop for good synthing potential. First up, a quick reminder of what Photosynth is. It was created out of the research done at Microsoft Research as a method to use information from photos to generate a virtual environment. In essence, it is a tool to facilitate “photo tourism.” From photosynth.net:

What is Photosynth?

Photosynth creates an amazing new experience with nothing more than a bunch of photos. Creating a synth allows you to share the places and things you love using the cinematic quality of a movie, the control of a video game, and the mind-blowing detail of the real world.

How Does it Work?

In simple terms, Photosynth allows you to take a bunch of photos of the same scene or object and automagically stitch them all together into one big interactive 3D viewing experience that you can share with anyone on the web.

Photosynth is a potent mixture of two independent breakthroughs: the ability to reconstruct the scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the technology to bring that experience to virtually anyone over the Internet.

Using techniques from the field of computer vision, Photosynth examines images for similarities to each other and uses that information to estimate the shape of the subject and the vantage point each photo was taken from. With this information, we recreate the space and use it as a canvas to display and navigate through the photos.

Providing that experience requires viewing a LOT of data though—much more than you generally get at any one time by surfing someone’s photo album on the web. That’s where our Seadragon™ technology comes in: delivering just the pixels you need, exactly when you need them. It allows you to browse through dozens of 5, 10, or 100(!) megapixel photos effortlessly, without fiddling with a bunch of thumbnails and waiting around for everything to load.

We deliver this immersive viewing experience to users on multiple operating systems by tapping into the power of Silverlight, Microsoft’s rich web application technology.

Without further ado, a few synths I’d recently created. First up, the synth I’d done last week showing off my upstairs area. There’s quite a bit to explore here, from the keyboard on my desk to the shelf of manga and DVDs. Unfortunately, I didn’t do too much in terms of closeups with the figure displays, something I may revisit in the future. Click the image to view the synth!

room

My first attempt tonight featured working with a recent acquisition, 1/6 scale Yoko Littner by Kotobukiya. This is the first time I tried using the floor as a background and am very encouraged by the results. In addition to the floor, I also grabbed a wood cutting board to provide more background complexity…

yoko

My second attempt tonight featured Dollfie Rin. I achieved slightly better results with this synth (100% synthy) since I didn’t try to do any odd-angled close ups. I will probably revisit this one later to do some more close up detail shots for a better “tour.”

rin

In addition to these, I had done quite a few others in the past (with varying success). Check the rest of them out here. I’ll continue to do other figures and may expand on to doing some scenes. Such a cool little tool, isn’t it?

Display case upgrade

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The recent Dollfie acquisition caused me to think about the best way to display and protect my new daughter. As a result, I trekked up to IKEA over the weekend and got two more DETOLF display cabinets and light sets. Since I knew Rin would be too tall to stand in on one shelf, I decided the logical course of action would be to remove one shelf and give her half the cabinet to herself. Worked out pretty well, if I do say so myself…

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Dollfie head cap and stand

Got my second package from VolksUSA in today. The stand and head cap that I’d ordered came in! The Japanese really do love their packaging, as the stand came in quite the large box…

Big box for flat stand

I assembled the stand first, just so I’d have a way to work with Rin while trying to get the wig and cap on. Immediately, there was a bit of a problem. The cap itself seemed a bit too large for her head and didn’t look like it fit.

Looks warm, but too big?

If that were supposed to be the only thing she wore, it’d probably be fine. It looks pretty warm and would keep her ears safe from cold winter temperatures or give her nicer hydrodynamics if she were swimming. Sadly, neither of those scenarios fit, so I needed to figure out how to make it work. I tried a couple ideas, from folding it to rolling it up and tucking underneath, but nothing seemed to work. I finally gave in and shot an email to the VolksUSA folks with the picture attached and waited for a response.

Keen to keep trying, I started searching and found an entry on the VolksUSA blog. While it didn’t directly talk about how the head cap went on, it did inspire me to remove the top piece of her head and try the fit that way. That seemed to work and gave me a chance to peek inside Rin’s head…

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Once the top was put back on, I set to work in fitting the wig. it’s a bit tighter than before, but results came out well. Rin seems to be happy with it too!

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Before and after:

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Shortly after I’d finished, I received a reply from Volks. Seems the method I used isn’t the “right” way, and they included directions. I’ll include them here for other owners who may struggle with the same problem…

1&2: Place the headcap on the head. It will be slightly loose up at the top. Make sure that it rests behind the ears.

3: When you put on the wig, hold it down in the front with your thumb, and pull down on the back with your other hand, slipping it down over the headcap and head. After you do this the headcap will show a little bit outside the wig.

4: You can use you fingers to gently push the headcap inside the hairline. But be careful. Don’t push it up too high or the wig will touch her head. The line of the headcap, and wig cap should match up as perfectly as possible.

UPDATE: Just redid the cap as per the Volks instructions. Works great!

UPDATE2: Volks had asked that I remove the pictures. They didn’t say anything about the text though. 🙂

My first Dollfie

A couple days ago, I got a large package from UPS. It came in “signature required,” and fortunately I was home that day working on flooring. Being busy all day with manual labor and then fireworks in the evening, I didn’t have much chance to really do a large batch of photos. I did, however, manage to get her unpacked and dressed.

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I’m very impressed with the level of detail in the Dollfie and the ease at which she’s posed. There are a lot of little nice touches with the clothing, from the buttons on the sleeves to the shoes and stockings. The wig was also pre-styled, which is good for me as I would have had a heck of a time trying to get the bows on and the hair in the right place…

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Quick update

First off, happy 4th of July everyone! It’s been a day full of excitement for me and also extremely tiring. First, I completed the previously mentioned flooring project. All of the boards have been put into place. The only thing remaining is to patch a few areas and put in the molding around the edges. Looks pretty good, if I say so myself!

IMG_3096There’s also still a little cleanup left to do…

Secondly, Dollfie Rin arrived on my doorstep. After fumbling around for an hour, I finally got her fully assembled and clothed. I still need to get some sort of a stand and head cap for her, but in all very nice! The one thing I wasn’t expecting was how big she was going to be. She’s extremely tall. I have a 24in diagonal monitor, and she towers over it. I’d initially thought about putting her in the display cabinet, but she would easily take up the height of two shelves…

IMG_3861My, look how tall you are!

More detailed write ups of both items are to come, but for now, I’m too exhausted to stay awake! The flooring project really took a lot out of me… ^.^

Anticipating a new arrival

Yesterday, I received an email from VolksUSA. In it was a tracking number. Dollfie Rin is on her way! Since I’m still new to the world of ball jointed dolls (BJDs), I still have quite a bit to learn about the things and accessories I’ll need to get. It turns out that the darker wigs have a tendency to stain, so I’ll need to get a cloth cap to put between them. Sadly, Volks is currently out of stock, so I’ll need to put that purchase on hold until one is available.

Tracking estimates delivery this Friday, so expect to see the first photos this weekend!